The changes in patch 5.3 are pretty small as far as you’re concerned. You can keep more pets in your stable, some pets have longer cooldowns of the special abilities, and your Bombardment now increases the damage of Multi-Shot by 60%, up from 30%.
More important are the changes to Resilience and the nerf to PvP Power.
Binding Shot, which was a tier 2 talent that you weren’t taking anyway, is now a level 30 MM ability and is actually useful. It’s replaced by the Intimidation ability (from Beast Mastery) so now you have an option of a pet stun talent.
This page is specific to Marksmanship Hunter PvP and covers a build, glyphs, gems, enchants, and pet info. If you’re looking for PvE (raiding and such) then see our other Marksmanship Hunter page.
Some aspects of this guide may not apply to your Hunter until higher level. If are interested in getting your character to max level quickly, take a look at this leveling guide and get to 90 ASAP.
Marksmanship Hunter PvP Talents
Keep in mind that talents are easily changed with one Tome of the Clear Mind. Keep a stack and change talents as necessary.
Tier 1, Level 15:
- Posthaste is a maneuverability boost, leap back and have a few seconds of increased speed. Nice, but not as nice as the others.
- Narrow Escape has definite use at times. Stop pursuit, lock up a healer in an inconvenient place (with an undispellable root,) keep melee off your own healers, and so on. Useful anywhere an area root is useful. (Note that the webs break on damage.)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera allows us to use two of our survivability tools more often, which is pretty cool.
Tier 2, level 30
- Silencing Shot interrupts and silences. Much more generally useful than either of the others. Also works very nicely against various Hunter abilities, such as traps. Obviously this one is best Vs casters. Put it into a macro to make it more reliable:
- #showtooltip Silencing Shot
- /cast Silencing Shot
- Wyvern Sting – Put’s ‘em to sleep for a bit. Consider it a stun that breaks on damage. Longer cooldown than Silencing Sot.
- Intimidation – your pet briefly stuns the target. 1 min CD. This can be a good choice if you don’t need the slience.
Tier 3, level 45
- Exhilaration is a nice self heal and a strong pet heal. The burst heal is more useful for one on one and smaller fights.
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk makes our best aspect even better with very respectable damage mitigation. Especially good in larger fights, especially where there’s a lot of constant small to medium damage.
- Spirit Bond heals for too little to be of great use. Nice talent for leveling, though.
Tier 4, level 60
- Fervor returns focus both instantly and over time. This choice is presently sub-optimal.
- Dire Beast is a good choice as it provides the greatest DPS of the three talents in this tier and a decent focus return.
- Thrill of the Hunt has a chance to give you focus free Arcane Shots or reduced cost Multi-Shots. It will allow you to spam more Arcane Shots than the others so is the pick for this tier. With the extra focus you should be able to get off more Chimera Shots, as well.
Tier 5, level 75
- A Murder of Crows is a good choice for PvE, but PvP needs the burst and this doesn’t do it. Best used for duels.
- Blink Strike puts your pet where it belongs, right now, especially if it isn’t where it should be. Or even if it is. Also, your pet won’t have to (slowly) wander around obstacles and long paths trying to get to the target. It’s also nice if your target is in an othersie inaccessible position. This gives you maximum pet uptime on your target. Much shorter cooldown than Lynx Rush.
- Lynx Rush has a very long cooldown for somewhat more damage, making Blink Strike generally much more practical. However, Lynx Rush is superior for duels and other 1 on 1 fights due to the damage. With several targets close to each other, it’s not so hot.
Tier 6, level 90
- Glaive Toss has decent damage, is instant, low cost, and has a short cooldown. The movement speed reduction (snare) is a nice bonus.
- Powershot does nice damage, BUT has a long cast time (making it interruptable) and a long cooldown. It also seems to need a crit to do solid damage and crit chance isn’t hot in Mists. Maybe later if cit chance improves significantly.
- Barrage should be avoided for the time being. Channeled and doesn’t hit that hard.
Marksmanship PvP Glyphs
All of the interesting utility is with the major glyphs, minors are mostly cosmetic. A number of glyphs are useful for various situations. You should keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind and swap as necessary. If you can’t afford all your glyphs, gems, etc, then go here.
Major Glyphs – More or less in order of preference.
- Glyph of Disengage – Increases your disengage distance, which is pretty nice in all situations. Also allows you to jump from low to higher ground.
- Glyph of Explosive Trap – Because knockback is much more useful (and entertaining) than a bit of damage. Since it doesn’t do damage it doesn’t break other traps or CC.
- Glyph of Chimera Shot – Increases the healing from your CS.
- Glyph of Mending – Pets are weak and are constantly attacked. This helps to improve their chances.
- Glyph of Master’s Call – Extends the duration of a very useful ability.
- Glyph of Aimed Shot – Use AS while moving. AS isn’t so hot for arena, but has definite use elsewhere.
- Glyph of Mirrored Blades – Definite uses when spells are coming your way.
- Glyph of Solace – Your Freezing Trap and Scatter Shot remove all DoTs from the target, which insures that those effects stick.
- Glyph of Animal Bond – All healing to you and your pet is increased. Nice if you have a good healer.
- Maximize healing? Take Animal Bond & Chimera Shot.
- Glyph of Revive Pet – Makes reviving your pet easier when under pressure.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Pack - Helps the group move faster.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Beast – Become untrackable.
- Glyph of Marking – Puts a bulleye, instead of the standard mark, on the target. Clearly an essential glyph.
Stats, Gems, and Enchants
Resilience was changed and PvP Power took a big hit in patch 5.3. Currently everyone starts at a base 65% Resilience, regardless of gear. Youi can gem and enchant for it, but then you still have to blast through his 65%. PvP Power was cut in value by a third and then the value of all PvP gems (Power, as well as Res.) was cut in half.
You’re probably better off gemming for Agility.
- Primary Stats: Weapon DPS > Agility
- Secondary Stats: 3% Hit and 3% Expertise > Crit
- Weaker stats: Haste, Mastery
- Useless: Hit & Expertise over 6%.
Resilience: Hunters are actually fairly squishy, but the new Resilience rules help. You probably won’t need to gem for it. It no longer appears on most gear.
PvP Power is a direct damage add Vs players only. It does appear on PvP gear and is the reason you should use PvP gear instead of PvE gear (unless your PvE gear is much higher level.) Point for point Agility is better.
Hit/Expertise: Your pet inherits 50% of both, but only needs Hit. If you’re capped in both you pet will be fine.
Reforge : Make sure you have your 3% Hit and Expertise, then reforge everything else into Crit.
Gems for Marksmanship PvP
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, for example: 160 Agility Vs 320 Crit. PvP Power and Resilience gems have the same values as Agility gems, making them much less valuable than before.
You should be matching gem sockets for the bonuses, use hybrid Ag. gems in the blue and yellow sockets. Gemming for offense is the recommended route, since you have to punch through the other guy’s 65%+ Resilience.
Suggested Offensive gemming for MM Hunters
- Meta socket: Agile Primal Diamond: this one’s easier to get, but the other two are better, esp. the Tyrannical Primal Diamond.
- Red sockets: Delicate Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Deadly Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst
Gems with other stats are shown if you want to experiment, add Hit/Expertise, etc.
|Meta||Capacitive Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Agile Primal Diamond: 216 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points. (Must earn 25k CPs in one season to see his gear, 27k to be allowed to buy it.)
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility
Precise Primordial Ruby: 320 Expertise
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 160 Resilience
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: 320 Crit
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: 160 PvP power|
|Orange||Lucent Sardonyx: +100 Agility and +100 PvP Resilience
Tenuous Sardonyx: +200 Expertise and +100 PvP Resilience
Lucent Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 80 Resilience
Deadly Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Crit
|Purple||Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 80 PvP Power
Glinting Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 160 Hit
|Green||Vivid Wild Jade: 80 Res, 80 PvP Power
Vivid Adventurine: +100 PvP Power and +100 PvP Resilience
|Prismatic||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 600 Expertise
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
The chest item is the only standard Resilience enchant, there are no standard PvP Power enchants. There is a weapon enchant that costs Conquest points and which adds PvP Power, plus disarm resistance.
If you need more cash to be able to buy these things then check our Tycoon review.
There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants are from the inscription profession.
For your weapon, the Scope does the best overall damage, the Tyranny enchant is more predictable (since it doesn’t need to proc) and has disarm reduction. Weaponless Hunters don’t do much damage. With the Resilience change it’s now worthwhile to take the +Stats chest enchant instead of the Resilience one.
|Marksmanship Hunter Enchantments|
|Ranged Weapon||Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom: Sometimes add 1,800 Ag for 10 seconds.
Living Steel Weapon Chain- Reduces duration of disarm effects, +200 Expertise.
Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny: 600 PvP Power, 50% Disarm duration.
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Claw Inscription +520 Ag, 100 Crit, requires Inscription 575
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription: +200 Agility, +100 Crit
|Cloak||Swordguard Embroidery: Chance for 4k Attack Power for 15 sec. Req. Tailoring.
Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: +180 Crit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: 80 to all Stats
|Bracers||Fur Lining, Agility: +500 Agility, requires Leatherworking.
Enchant Bracer – Greater Agility: +180 Agility
Socket Bracer: Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice Agility gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170 Haste
Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: +170 Mastery
Socket Gloves – Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice gem.
|Belt||Living Steel Belt Buckle: put a nice gem into this slot.|
|Leggings||Shadowleather Leg Armor: +285 Agility & 165 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Blurred Speed: 140 Agility and Slight run speed increase.|
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Agility: +160 Agility, Requires Enchanting 550|
Professions for Marksmanship
All of the professions provide some benefit for any class/spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash.
Most of the professions add an average of about 320 Agility. Since gems with secondary stats are twice the value of those with primary stats (320 Crit Vs 160 Agility, for example)
Blacksmithing might be the most valuable profession if you’re just looking for the buffs. Engineering has lots of useful gadgets, and a killer Ag cooldown, but leveling both professions will probably bankrupt you.
Herbalism has a killer Haste cooldown and costs nothing to level. Heck, it’ll likely make you a fair amount of gold.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 4k Attack Power for 15 seconds.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 Ag.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use, install two of them.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total 320 Ag gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Ag and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions (abot 30%.) Adds 320 Ag and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Ag by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket the two gems for 640 PvP Power instead of 320 Ag.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds. Can also find life spirits.|
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour. Any Agility bonuses also add to the food and chemical bonuses. Alchemists will get about 30% more in stats and an extra hour in duration from flasks and elixirs.
Food buffs go away when you are killed, flasks do not. Your agility flask is better than any pair of elixirs.
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 1,000 Ag for one hour
- Virmen’s Bite: 4k Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Runescroll of Fortitude III: 8% increased Stamina to your entire group. Stacks with your flask, unlike Agility scrolls.
Feeding your pet is a much larger and much faster heal than “Mend Pet,” but your pet can keep fighting while you mend. They won’t eat food that’s many levels below them, so just feed them stuff that’s appropriate for your level and you’ll be good.
Cooldowns for pet abilities are longer than than they are in Beast Mastery.
Buffs do not stack with any similar buffs your team might provide, such as Cat Mastery & Shaman Mastery. Make sure you pick your pet to get the best (most complimentary) buffage possible.
Note that in patch 5.2 pet swapping takes a bit longer than before.
- Crane – 4 second sleep, instant cast. This shares DR with stuns.
- Cat – 60 second 3.5k Mastery buff.
- Wolf – 5% Crit buff to party. Again, this doesn’t stack.
- Serpent – 10% attack speed buff lasts for 2 minutes.
- Monkey – Gives a 4 second stun, but this has a cast time. It’s noises are also annoying to some.
- Scorpid/Bird of Prey – 10 second disarm. Great Vs melee.
- Moth – interrupt casting and 4 second spell lockout
- Spider – 5 second web root (30 yd range) that does not break on damage. Plus, a few people are disturbed by spiders and will be a bit freaked out by yours. Or try to instantly mash it.
- Wind Serpent – Increases magic damage taken by the target by 5%, which is great if a lot of magic damage is being tossed about. Does not stack with similar effects.
With Catalclysm everyone but Gnomes were allowed into the Hunter crowd. Probably because they’re too busy repairing their city or they’re too short to use a bow (how about a Gnomish X4500GT Zarkomatic blaster rifle?)
In Mists of Pandaria Pandarens can become Hunters. but Gnomes are still left out.
The best? If you’re looking towards the end game… Orcs and Trolls are arguably the best Hunter races, but all the notes are below.
Pandarens (Mists of Pandaria) can be either Alliance or Horde, they choose a side when they leave their starting area.
- They can put enemies to sleep with a touch of the paw, but you don’t want to be in melee range so this isn’t that much use to you.
- Increased benefits from food buffs will be quite nice while raiding, but will be less than the value of one gem.
- Take less falling damage from being “bouncy.”
- Rested experience lasts longer for faster leveling.
- Skilled at cooking.
Draenei – Small DPS Gain
- A small HoT, Gift of the Naaru, will help with survivability.
- +1% hit, a useful self-only ability for all hunters.
Night Elves - No DPS gain
- Shadowmeld drops aggro in PvE encounters, but it’s redundant with your Feign Death ability. It does not add to your Camouflage ability.
- Night Elf hunters also gain the benefit of a 2% dodge chance increase, another bonus to stack with Aspect of the Monkey when forced into melee. This is slightly useful in PvP.
- Move faster when dead has little value unless you need to quickly get back to where you were ganked.
Dwarves – Small DPS gain
- The stone form ability is rather nice, washing away bleeds and reducing damage taken by 10%. You will find plenty of use for this.
- Dwarves get expertise with ranged weapons, which is nice perk.
- You have no use for their mace specialization.
- Dwarves are good with Archeology.
Human – Can use two DPS trinkets.
- Their escape ability is quite nice and allows replacing the escape trinket with a DPS trinket.
- Their diplomacy ability will help with the rep gains with the many factions of Azeroth and beyond.
- Their expertise with melee weapons is of no use to you.
- Increased spirit is worthless to you.
Worgen – Extra Crit is nice, making them the second best best Alliance DPS.
- They have a general 1% increased chance to crit, which is a good stat for you, and
- Worgen can “periodically move more quickly,” which definitely has it’s uses.
- Their increased skinning skill and speed is a nice convenience, but of no special value to Hunters.
Blood Elves – No DPS abilities,
- Their big ability is Arcane Torrent, which can be used as an AoE silence when forced into melee range with caster classes. Paladins and Death Knights, for example. Ideally Hunters want to avoid “melee range” like the plague. While it will restore a small amount of focus you will need to be in a really long fight to get even one more shot because of it.
- Blood elves are good with Enchanting.
Tauren – No DPS abilities, but their larger health pool will make for bigger heals from abilities based on health pool, such as your Chimera shot. This gives the Tauren an edge in survivability.
- Tauren gain a 5% bonus to health, which is worth about 15k at level 90 (assuming 300k HP)
- You’ll also gain the benefit of Warstomp, an AoE stun that may allow you to gain range from the opposition.
- Good with Herbalism
Trolls are probably second best of all the races for Hunters.
- Trolls possess the Berserking racial, a potent DPS increase for sustained DPS. Add it to a macro.
- Trolls get Ranged weapon expertise which is nice.
- Trolls get +5% damage bonus Vs. beasts, but since Gnomes and Worgen don’t count as beasts this ability is useless for PvP.
- A somewhat more situational ability is the reduced duration Trolls get from movement reducing effects.
- The Health regeneration is effectively useless.
Orcs, are the #1 Hunter choice from a DPS perspective and the stun resistance doesn’t hurt their claim any.
- They get the benefit of Blood Fury, a great burst DPS increase. Add it to a macro.
- as well as 5% more pet damage via Command,
- and a 15% resistance to all stuns with Hardiness, a very useful ability.
- Expertise with melee weapons is useless for you.
Undead – their new racial gives them some added DPS and also works well with your Chimera shot, for that much more survivability.
- Naturally the Undead start with a giant spider as a pet.
- They have no special Hunter abilities, but their “Will of the Forsaken” can wipe off sleeps, charms, etc., a nice ability to have, especially in PvP.
- Being able to eat the brains of those you kill frees up a blag slot (which would otherwise carry food.)
- Undead can drain life from opponents and be healed for the same amount. This is a passive effect and happens occasionally with your damaging attacks, it will add a bit to your overall DPS and self-healing numbers.
Goblin – A small DPS increase
- Rocket Jump has definite uses at times, especially as “gain range” ability when Disengage is on cooldown.
- An increase to Haste is just Ok and
- An increase in Alchemy skill, along with a greater effect from your own healing potions, is also nice.
- Goblins also receive vendor discounts and can summon a personal bank.
- Rocket Barrage is fun, but nothing more than that.
Marksman Hunter Play-style
The beauty of playing a Hunter is that almost every Hunter is different – even among similar specs you will find different players do different things in different situations. But to start you off, you need only know of two different styles.
1) The offensive Hunter: A great start for most people, making your enemy go defensive is the best way to prevent your enemy from creating any real pressure. However this can cause many problems, and you will quickly see how easy it is for enemies to Line of Sight you – while this keeps them from being offensive, it also prevents you from creating opportunities so fluidly.
2) The defensive Hunter: Most players experienced in other classes will start off defensive rather than offensive – because they know what other classes are capable of. With the addition of Aspect of the Fox, Hunters are now able to pull off their entire rotation on the move, which allows you to go begin a cast, then move out of Line of Sight of a target, and then move back in when the cast is about to end, fire and instant shot with that cast, move back out of los until your Global Cooldown Ends, and so on and so forth.
This is a great style for Hunters, and it makes things a whole lot easier for your healer. However you also miss out on opportunities that you otherwise could have created had you been more offensive.
Naturally the best thing to do is combine the two, play defensive and pull your opponents into you, so that their healer will follow into the open – giving you an opening to go offensive with some Crowd Control on the healer. Remember one thing though: You should adapt with the season, if games are long, go with some Marksman for some decent control – if Burst is high, go BM and help your caster out with bloodlust, or even Survival with Wind Serpent pet to give him that extra 8% magic damage.
Hunters have an amazing amount of utility outside the arena, make sure you think things through before queuing up. This section was quoted from the ArenaJunkies Hunter (patch 4.3) page
Get Leveled Fast
As mentioned above (in the enchants section) very high level players will crush lower levels like bugs. It happened with 85s (in Cataclysm) destroying lower levels and it will be worse with a level 90 cap in Mists.
Your solution is to get leveled and get to the top of the power curve ASAP, but leveling can be a bit of a drag, with thousands of quests and a few zillion mobs to kill.
The cure is to snag yourself a guide that points out the most efficient path to level as quickly as possible, always showing you exactly where to go and what to do. One that’s smart enough to adjust if you grab a few leveling in PvP or the dungeons, that can adjust whether you’re brand new or decked head to toe in heirlooms, and that doesn’t care which level you are when you start the guide.
What’s even nicer is if the guide will zap all of your obsolete quests (that you’re too high level to get much value from.)
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